TEMPLEGATE tackles a huge Saturday of racing confident of finding you a few winners.
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THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (2.25 Wincanton, nap)
He ended last season with a close-up fourth in the Scottish National so will enjoy this test. He is off the same mark here and trainer Paul Nicholls – who has a great record in this race – has given him a wind op which should help. He is unbeaten on a right-handed track and jumps well.
LIME AVENUE (3.32 Wincanton, nb)
She was an impressive winner here last time and starts handicapping from a handy mark. Trainer Paul Nicholls will want to win this race named after one of his greatest owners and this mare is open to lots of improvement.
COOPER’S CROSS (2.45 Aintree, treble)
He was running a mighty race in the Topham over these unique fences in April until he was effectively brought down at the fourth-last. He jumped well before that and followed up with an excellent second in the Scottish Grand National. His staying power will be a big asset in these testing conditions.
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Templegate's TV verdicts
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FLAGRANT DELITIEP showed positive signs when fourth at Plumpton on comeback and has landed two of his three wins here.
He jumps well and has tumbled right down the weights. He should be spot-on for a good run.
Huelgoat has had a couple of spins over hurdles to get fit and was a close second on his last chase run here. He should be competitive in an open race.
Enjoy Your Life is another switching codes and trainer Venetia Williams has made a decent start to the season. He should improve jumping fences.
Midnight Midge needed his comeback 18 days ago and has solid form over course and distance. He’s a danger off his last winning mark.
Another Crick had plenty in hand when scoring at Warwick and should be thereabouts again.
KNAPPERS HILL looks hard to beat. He was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles last season and made a good start to his chasing career when second in a Chepstow Listed contest last month.
He has scored here before and is open to plenty of improvement.
Captain Conby was a useful handicap hurdler and won on chase debut at Killarney before a fair effort upped to Grade 3 level at Tipperary. He can chase the tip home.
Doyen Star won both his hurdles runs and is interesting making a quick switch to fences.
He is entitled to need this after nine months off unless the market speaks.
Givega either won or was pulled up as a hurdler and is another making his chase debut. These fences take some jumping so he’s best watched for now.
THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE ended last season with a close-up fourth in the Scottish National so will enjoy this test.
He is off the same mark here and trainer Paul Nicholls – who has a great record in this race – has given him a wind op which should help.
He is unbeaten on a right-handed track and jumps well.
Nicholls also runs the admirable Frodon who has a big weight but coped with that when winning this 12 months ago. He will be in the mix again.
More rain would help Blackjack Magic who signed off last season with a good win at Uttoxeter and looks a big price to make the frame.
The Big Breakaway was hampered before falling early in the Grand National.
The Welsh National is his target so a bigger threat may be Ashtown Lad who is a fair 4lb higher than his last win.
RUBAUD should get his own way out in front and repeat his all-the-way win at Kempton on comeback.
He won’t mind some cut in the ground and is proven in this grade from his Dovecote win at Kempton last term.
Assuming West Balboa runs at Aintree, Hansard can give him most to think about.
He kicked off last season with a couple of minor wins before struggling behind the tip at Kempton.
He left that form behind with a fourth in Grade 1 company at Aintree and likes this trip.
He needs another step up but looks set for a good season.
Sacre Coeur has been flying over fences but this is tougher.
LIME AVENUE was an impressive winner here last time and starts handicapping from a handy mark.
Trainer Paul Nicholls will want to win this race named after one of his greatest owners and this mare is open to lots of improvement.
Vicki Vale ended last season with a decent novice win at Taunton and is another who looks on a fair weight even before her rider’s 5lb claim.
Ilovethenightlife scored on handicap debut before finding a Cheltenham listed contest too much.
She has to give weight away but goes well fresh and can make the frame.
Plenty Of Time has two wins and a close second from three runs here so is respected.
COOPER’S CROSS was running a mighty race in the Topham over these unique fences in April until he was effectively brought down at the fourth-last.
He jumped well before that and followed up with an excellent second in the Scottish Grand National.
His staying power will be a big asset in these testing conditions and he can go close under Sam Coltherd.
The record of Gesskille over the National fences speaks for itself with two seconds last season.
He is fit from a good Listed chase win in France and can go close despite a higher handicap mark.
Fantastic Lady was second in the Topham and acts on heavy ground. She won first-up last season and is another for the shortlist.
Percussion was third in this 12 months ago and filled the same spot in the Becher Chase. He’s 5lb lower this time so can make his presence felt.
WEST BALBOA gets the nod after progressing really well last season.
She had just three runs but landed the Lanzarote Hurdle in a real Sandown bog before matching that form with a hot handicap win here at the Grand National meeting.
It will be testing here and her proven stamina will be an asset in the conditions.
Hopefully she’ll be fit enough to strike on comeback getting weight from her male rivals.
Brewin’upastorm won this race two years ago and was sent off the odds-on favourite 12 months ago before coming a cropper at the first flight.
He’s another who has lots of stamina and likes it soft. He goes well fresh and we know he likes the track.
Millers Bank lost his way a bit over fences last season but was a smart hurdler including when third in the Aintree Hurdle. He should need this but can’t be dismissed.
VEIL OF SHADOWS takes a drop in grade after going close over this trip in a Newmarket Group 3 29 days ago.
She ran well the last time she tackled the all-weather in August and Charlie Appleby is finishing the season strongly.
Rousay was a place behind the tip at HQ last time and can make her presence felt again.
Vera Verto didn’t get home over 1m6f in the mud at Bath latest but was consistent before that and landed a nice handicap at Newmarket two starts ago. She has an each-way chance.
Sound Angela has scored here before and tried to come from too far back when a decent third in France latest.
Persist has been a little disappointing this season but William Haggas’ yard remains in decent nick and this quicker surface may help along with the first-time cheekpieces.
Mukadaamah hated the soft ground last time and has placed in this grade so has a chance.
ALBASHEER ran a cracker despite hating the soft ground when fifth in a big field at York last time.
He likes this trip and will be much happier on this quicker surface with AW king Luke Morris on board.
Sense Of Duty is the obvious threat if able to find the form that saw him win a Group 3 over course and distance 18 months ago.
He’s run just twice since then and should be less rusty after his Ascot effort 21 days ago.
Aberama Gold came right back to his best when scoring at Doncaster two Saturdays back and can hold his own again upped to Listed level.
Juan Les Pins is consistently on the podium and went close in an Ascot Group 3 the last time he tackled this trip.
He missed the kick at Kempton and is better than that.
Brad The Brief didn’t get the clearest of runs when fifth in a good race at Chantilly latest and is capable of hitting the frame.
LOCAL DYNASTY won a Listed contest this time last year and was a bit unlucky not to score over 1m2f at Newmarket.
He likes quick turf so should handle this track and looks open to improvement upped in distance.
Teumessias Fox caught the eye at Windsor when rattling home late.
He has a useful 3lb claimer on board and has scored at Newcastle before, which is a major plus.
Chillingham is lightly raced and went close on his sole AW run on Tapeta at Southwell. He looks on a fair weight.
Mr Alan was nabbed on the line at Newmarket latest. He has shown his best in testing ground on turf but can go well if handling this surface.
Laafi came back to form when winning at Newmarket from the front but will find those tactics tougher here.
Mustazeed has been going well over 1m2f but has place claims if he doesn’t lose too much ground with his usual slow start.
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